Village Leaders

Louis Grossman - Developed Method to Structure Bratenahl

10519 Lake Shore Boulevard
Judge Louis J. Grossman
Judge Louis J. Grossman

Louis Grossman practiced law in Cleveland for fifty-three years as a senior partner, specializing in commercial, probate, and corporation law. His reputation for uprightness was unquestioned, and philanthropic boards and community organizations sought him as a member.

Liberty Holden, Grossman’s fellow resident in Glenville on the Lake, led a group to have Glenville on the Lake become a separate municipality. There was considerable pressure from the residents to prevent the intrusion of unwanted types of land use. Members of the group could not come up with a solution.

Eventually, Louis Grossman offered a method of having deeds to every piece of property in Glenville on the Lake be revised to restrict land use to single-family homes for fifty years.

His solution required an astonishing leap of faith from the property owners. One-hundred-fifty owners conveyed the deeds to their homes to Guardian Savings & Trust Co. The deeds were returned to the owners with added provisions limiting the property’s use for residence use only for a term of fifty years.

Louis Joel Grossman was born on Bolivar Road in Cleveland on January 16, 1867, the son of Marcus and Hannah Grossman. He was a descendant of an early Cleveland family.

He attended Cleveland Public Schools and graduated from Columbia University with an A.B. degree in 1885 and later received an LL.B degree from Columbia Law School in 1887.

Grossman was admitted to the Ohio bar in 1887 and joined Mix, Noble & White. In 1916, he became associated with his son, Marc Grossman, under the name of Grossman & Grossman.

Along with Judge J. J. Sullivan, chairman of the Central National Bank, Grossman was a principal advisor to John D. Rockefeller for his Standard Oil Trust. After Rockefeller had moved to New York, he still returned to Forest Hills each summer. Grossman and Sullivan would meet Rockefeller at the train station and accompanied him to his home.

Grossman was a director of Guardian Trust Co., president of American Lawyers Co., and a Cleveland and American bar association member. He was active in the Chamber of Commerce.

Social clubs included being the first presidents of the Excelsior Club, which merged with the Oakwood Country Club. Other clubs included City Club, The Country, Excelsior, and Town clubs. He was a veteran Mason.

Louis Grossman married Lillian (Lillie) Meyers on October 15, 1890. Lillie was born on August 19, 1871.

After being ill for ten weeks, Louis died at his home on August 20, 1941. Lillie died on September 9, 1967, and was buried alongside Louis in Mayfield Cemetery.

They had three children: Marc Justin, born on September 1, 1892; Vera (Berger), born on December 15, 1895; and Gladys (Littman). Both Vera and Gladys attended Bratenahl schools.